Wednesday, April 22, 2009
REVIEW: After The Wreck, I Picked Myself Up, Spread My Wings, And Flew Away by Joyce Carol Oates
I picked this book up on a whim. If I hadn't been stranded in a library for two hours with a restless 3 year old, I might never have glanced at it. As it turned out, I really related to this book.
Jenna Abbott leads a fairly normal life with her mother until a car accident changes everything. Her mother dies, Jenna is seriously injured. Her life completely changes after this and she's left reeling with the guilt that she might have been to blame for the accident, guilty for surviving when her mother didn't. She moves in with her aunt and uncle and struggles with the person she was before the accident and the person that she has become. She involves herself in a lot of self-destructive behaviour including skipping school, drugs, alcohol, theft. She has no one to talk to, no one to confide in until she meets mysterious, older Crow who has problems of his own.
I really did relate to this story. I've never been in a car accident and my mother is still alive and well, but I can understand her feelings of poor self-worth and the attraction of self-destructive behaviours. That feeling of being alone in our problems is one that most teenagers feel, and I think that Joyce Carol Oates handles the anguish and isolation of it all very well. It isn't an easy book to read but it's one that I'm glad I did read.